Jerry Stiller: Luther Mandrake
Todd Oleson: Engineer
A hateful disc jockey finds out where his venomous rants lead.
Act I Edit
Luther Mandrake walks in to a radio station late for work. He tells the somber engineer a man was found dead in the driver seat of his luxury car. While at first concerned with who the man was and how he was able to get into his high security apartment complex, his attitude shifts after dwelling on the cops called to the scene. Angry that the cops held him up due to their suspicions, Mandrake uses this as his first on-air rant of the night.
Mandrake is the host of a late night (midnight to 4am) radio talk show called ’The Devils Advocate’ where he berates listeners who call in and uses their various topics as a way to vent about his life as well as what’s wrong with the world. The first caller rants about her husband losing his job as a steam fitter; Mandrake responds by claiming they should be celebrating his freedom from a terrible job. The caller is appalled but Mandrake is unphased; she eventually hangs up as he goes to commercial. Feeling the rage get to him, he claims ‘I’m a human being too’ to the engineer.
Act II Edit
The show returns from commercial. After Mandrake hangs up on a call from an angry farmer, he fields the next call coming from a night watchman in Pittsburgh. Mandrake immediately berates the “loser” for making his career about watching others. As he continues to rant, Mandrake pours soup on the equipment — a move unseen by the engineer, who’s slowly starting to fall asleep.
The watchman eventually grows tired of the cranky radio host being ‘down on everything’. This causes Mandrake to snap and relay the truth about his family: his mother died in a plane crash connected to some kind of business corruption, his father died on a union picket line, his wife is in a coma after a bad reaction to a medical treatment, and his son was the passenger in a fatal DUI crash. As he rants, Mandrake begins to grow long hairs on his face. The watchman is sorry for what happened to his family, but it does not excuse Mandrake‘s hurtful ways. The watchman says he‘s done listening to the show and persuades other listeners to do the same. He calls Mandrake ‘the devil himself’ and prays that Mandrake rot in that radio station forever before hanging up. After noticing the engineer has mysteriously disappeared, Mandrake goes to commercial.
Act III Edit
The next handful of calls Mandrake takes after returning from commercial confuse and disturb him. The first caller insists she doesn’t have a radio or phone, but felt compelled to somehow call in to let Mandrake know he is a rude man. The next caller rants about the Spanish American War and his issues with President Wilson. The next caller wants to talk about Nazis and concentration camps. Mandrake hangs up on them, then directly asks his next caller what the date is; she replies with June 17, 1967. He quickly hangs up on her, thinking his callers are ganging up on him.
Mandrake suddenly realizes the engineers booth has vanished. Panicked, he tried to make an outside call only ro realize he can only receive calls inside the station. The switchboard lights up with an overwhelming amount of calls as his hands start to hideously mutate.
A booming voice (not coming from a phone call) speaks to Mandrake, commending him for making the best of things no matter what. The voice, claiming to be Mandrakes boss, congratulates him on 13 years of service and claims he “couldn’t have asked for a better advocate”. The boss also says that the tragedies Mandrakes family was put through helped him get to this point; confused, Mandrake listens to an emergency broadcast reporting his own suicide in the driver seat of his car parked in the garage of his luxury apartment complex. He realizes he really is the devil’s advocate.
Act IV Edit
Some time later, Mandrake has fully morphed into a hideous demonic figure (complete with two horns) but still continues to take calls, claiming he will continue to take calls “forever and ever”.